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Is Crime Major or Minor?

Violent Crime: Is Crime Major or Minor?

By Chief Robert Spinks, Parsons Police  10/19/2020

When was the last time you saw or heard about a purse snatcher, a robbery, or a violent assault in Parsons?

The FBI uses a measure of Murder, Rape, Robbery and Aggravated Assaults to create a community's violate crime data. By dividing the population into the number of these select id grouped crimes (violent crime) you can create a 'crime rate.'

Interesting, but violent crime must be rampant in Parsons since we hear that on social media. Right?


Every community is unique. Every city wrestles with its own demons. By far the largest demon in Parsons is felony domestic assaults. If that single crime was eliminated, then our community's violent crime plunges.

Certainly, any crime, violent or persons based, or property is too much, especially if you are the victim.

4.5% of the 16,202 incidents that Parsons Police responded to in 2019 involved an incident defined as a violent crime by the FBI.

Parsons dirty secret is that our worst crime occurs not on our streets or alleys, in dark parks or school campuses. The crimes of felony domestic assault (53) and misdemeanor domestic violence (182) as well as rape (8) and even murder (1) have a common thread of partner abuse.

But what about drugs, shootings in the street, and mayhem?

Mayhem is not Parsons. Yes, SE Kansas has long been plagued by illegal drugs - though less than in the glory days of meth and backyard meth labs of a decade ago. Drugs to bring armed confrontation.

The largest issue is that the police continue to make arrests at a substantive rate. Not every crime is solved, but our rate of solvability usually hovers at twice the national average. Last year 671 criminals were booked into the Parsons lock-up serving over 3,000-man days, with many then headed to the Labette County Jail.

But you cannot arrest a community out of crime. Every arrest that is made is a community failure. An arrest is the last option society has to try and remove someone from circulation. But about 98% of all arrestees and incarcerated folks in prison eventually return to local streets.

If socio-economic woes, lack of education, inadequate mental health and helping services as well as safety nets that also include the faith-based community aren't available or have huge holes in their net then we will continue to see revolving doors of victimization.

2019 FBI defined Violent Crime (73 Violent Crimes or 1 every 5 days) :

1 Murder

8 Rapes

9 Robberies

55 Aggravated Assaults